Thus we remained less than a month, during which time she became more and more infirm and disordered; and she endured no more than fifty days before she was numbered among the people of the other world. So I prepared her funeral, and deposited her body in the earth, and having caused recitations of the Kur'an to be performed for her, and given a considerable sum of money in alms for her sake, returned from the tomb. I found that she had possessed abundant wealth, and houses and lands, and among her property were the store-rooms of sesame of which I sold to thee the contents of one; and I was not prevented from settling with thee during this period but by my being busied in selling the remainder, the price of which I have not yet entirely received. Now I desire of thee that thou wilt not oppose me in that which I am about to say to thee; since I have eaten of thy food: I give thee the price of the sesame, which is in thy hands.-This which I have told thee was the cause of my eating with my left hand.

I replied, Thou hast treated me with kindness and generosity :-and he then said, Thou must travel with me to my country; for I have bought merchandise of Cairo and Alexandria. Wilt thou accompany me?-I answered, Yes:-and promised him that I would be ready by the first day of the following month. So I sold all that I possessed, and, having bought merchandise with the produce, travelled with the young man to this thy country, where he sold his merchandise and bought other in its stead, after which he returned to the land of Egypt: but it was my lot to remain here, and to experience that which hath befallen me this night during my absence from my native country.-Now is not this, O King of the age, more wonderful than the story of the humpback?

The King replied, Ye must be hanged, all of you!-And upon this, the Sultan's steward advanced towards the King, and said, If thou permit me, I will relate to thee a story that I happened to hear just before I found this humpback; and if it be more wonderful than the events relating to him, wilt thou grant us our lives?-The King answered, Tell thy story:-and he began thus: